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Barcelona’s Lionel Messi: Real Madrid ‘less good’ immediately after Cristiano Ronaldo exit

Lionel Messi was stunned by Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to go away Real Madrid for Juventus and claims the European champions will not likely be as solid a team immediately after dropping the Portuguese ahead.

Ronaldo, 33, joined Juve in July for €100 million immediately after investing the ideal aspect of the final nine decades competing with Barcelona’s Messi for collective and particular person glory in Spain.

Devoid of Ronaldo, Madrid dropped the European Tremendous Cup to Atletico Madrid whilst they have made a solid start to the new league season, profitable their very first a few games easily below new coach Julen Lopetegui.

Even so, Messi thinks they’re a poorer side devoid of Ronaldo and expects Juve to significantly profit from the deal in Europe this season.

Real Madrid are a person of the ideal groups in the world and they have a excellent squad [but] it’s evident that the absence of Ronaldo makes them fewer great and makes Juventus [a person of the] clear favourites to win the Champions League,” Messi informed Catalunya Radio.

“It stunned me [when he left]. I didn’t think about him leaving Madrid or joining Juventus. There were a large amount of groups that required him. It stunned me, but he has absent to a quite great team.”

Ronaldo has received the Champions League in four of the final 5 decades as a Madrid player, but Messi hopes his operate will come to an stop in Italy immediately after earning European good results Barca’s leading precedence this season.

“It can be time [to win it all over again],” extra Messi, who has received the competitors four times with Barca, but not considering the fact that 2015.

“We have been knocked out in the quarterfinals in the final a few seasons. Last season’s result in Rome harm specifically, but we have a amazing squad and we can battle for it [this season].”

Barca’s squad has been boosted by the arrival of four new signings — Arthur Melo, Clement Lenglet, Malcom and Arturo Vidal — and Messi has been specifically impressed with Brazilian midfielder Arthur, who reminds him of Xavi Hernandez.

“I didn’t know much about Arthur just before [he joined], but he is seriously similar to Xavi,” he explained.

“He’s seriously safe and sound and trustworthy [on the ball]. He has the design and style of a player that’s come by La Masia. He performs very well in excess of brief distances, he won’t lose the ball… He’s obtained to grips seriously speedily with the team’s dynamic.”

Messi also spoke about the modifying landscape of football, with Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City capable to crack into the elite in latest decades many thanks to international financial investment.

PSG made a large assertion final summer time when they snatched Neymar from Barca in a world record €222 million deal and Messi thinks the finances concerned in the game these times have altered how players act.

“There are clubs now with a large amount of funds and players move for that reason,” he explained. “Every time the most funds is, that’s exactly where they stop up going. Factors have altered and now the owners of clubs are multi-millionaires.

“Just before, everyone required to play for Barca or Madrid, who were the ideal, but now everything’s tighter and there is certainly not much of a big difference between the groups in Manchester, PSG, Madrid, us, Bayern [Munich], the Italians…”

Messi has experienced plenty of beneficial presents to go away Barca in the previous, but stressed that he is joyful exactly where he is having signed a new four-12 months deal at Camp Nou in 2021, when he will be 34.

“I am just contemplating about the decades that I can continue to keep participating in,” he explained when requested about what strategies he has for retirement.

“When the minute will come, I will determine. I want to complete the deal I have and then we will see if I continue on or not. It won’t get worried me suitable now. [But] the club can be relaxed [when I am absent] if they continue to keep bringing players by the academy and earning great signings.”

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Enduring Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben on a par with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

Arjen Robben. 1 of the most reliable and electrifying performers of his technology, albeit just one of the most underneath appreciated.
The stats communicate for themselves. On Matchday 1 of the 2018/19 Bundesliga marketing campaign – Robben’s 10th in Germany – the 34-year-old stepped off the bench to convey up his 96th goal, on his one hundred and ninetieth visual appeal, as Bayern Munich kicked of their title defence with a 3-1 win about Hoffenheim. With each other with his sixty eight assists, he has now had a direct hand in a goal each individual eighty two minutes that he is performed in the Bundesliga.

It can be a intellect-boggling ratio: streaks forward of English Leading League upstarts Eden Hazard (120 minutes) and Kevin De Bruyne (142 minutes), and only bettered at league stage – of his fellow thirty-one thing contemporaries – by Lionel Messi (61 minutes) and Cristiano Ronaldo (74 minutes).

Hindered by a chequered personal injury historical past, Robben doesn’t get the very same stage of acclaim as world football‘s top two – but he surely warrants it.

Considering the fact that making his experienced debut for hometown club Groningen in 2000/01, Robben has racked up 682 appearances in all competitions for club and state. He has gained, amid some others, the Eredivisie, two English Leading League titles, La Liga and is a 7-time Bundesliga winner.

Even further bespangling a embellished resumé, the Dutch Destroyer also landed Bayern their fifth European crown with the profitable goal in the last of the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium, and collected a runners-up medal at the FIFA 2010 World Cup and bronze in 2014.

“Arjen is a best case in point of how an more mature player can however master and develop, and refuse to be glad with what he is now obtained,” former Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer stated in 2014, the 12 months Robben concluded third behind Ronaldo and Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in the UEFA Finest Player in Europe stakes.

“He is world class. I can only stimulate each individual younger player to view and master from him.”

Robben made a telling contribution as Bayern gained a Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB Cup treble in 2013.

Seem assistance. Even with only breaking the thirty-game barrier in just one of his 18 campaigns to day thanks to personal injury – hamstring troubles, for the most section – Robben is a player who has continuously defied expectation. He has come to be a lot quicker with age and far more fatal.

His 2016/17 return is a key case in point. Mostly personal injury-totally free, the Bedum-born ace scored 13 times and created twelve assists, with only Robert Lewandowski proving far more helpful in front of goal in a Bayern shirt.

Quite the tally for a midfielder, albeit very little out-of-the-common for Robben, who has strike at the very least 15 goals and assists merged in all but a few of his nine comprehensive Bundesliga seasons to day.

“I however come to feel really good and want to be at the top as extended as achievable,” the former PSV Eindhoven, Chelsea and Real Madrid broad man stated immediately after asserting his retirement from worldwide football in October 2017 on the back of the Netherlands’ failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

“I am taking part in at a top club in Europe and I want to focus on it now. The man of glass has lasted the longest.”

Joking aside, Robben was an impeccable servant for his state – 37 goals and thirty assists in ninety six senior caps – and arguably the last genuinely world-class Dutch footballer. His final decision to go the baton at his classic peak underlines the astute intellect behind the enduring body a combination that Bayern rewarded with a just one-12 months contract extension in summer season 2018.

“I might listened to a good deal about him, but he has surpassed all my expectations and then some,” stated Bayern head coach Niko Kovac of Robben, a veteran of about 290 appearances in all competitions in his nine years at the Allianz Arena.

“The function he puts in each individual working day is fascinating. He is a real case in point to younger players. He is however world-class and a definitely crucial player for us.”

Robben captained the Netherlands for a few years, just before hanging up his worldwide boots in October 2017.

The numbers scarcely do Robben’s affect justice, but 241 goals, a hundred ninety assists and 32 trophies is a laudable return for a player – 35 in January! – whose occupation has been interrupted by personal injury.

Possibly in the foreseeable future, Robben – the quintessential inverted winger, whose signature angled run and curled remaining-footed complete continues to be as feared by opposition defenders today as it was 19 years back – will get the credit score he warrants.

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Argentina include Lionel Messi for Nigeria clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Barcelona star Lionel Messi

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Oct 23, 2017. 19:00


The Super Eagles of Nigeria are set to test their strength against Argentina in a friendly next month and the South Americans have announced their squad.

The La Albiceleste manager Jorge Sampaoli has released the list of foreign based players who are expected to line up in a friendly set for Russia.

Sampaoli has included skipper and Barcelona star Lionel Messi, Juventus‘ Paolo Dybala, Inter-Milan captain Mauro Icardi and Paris St. Germain’s Angel Di Maria.

Although the squad is yet to be complete as Sampaoli still has to announce local-based players, the encounter is set to be a thriller.

The Argentine squad:

Goalkeepers: Romero, Guzman, Marchesin.

Defenders: Marchesin, Fazio, Mercado, Otamendi, Pezzella; Salvio.

Midfielders: Biglia, Banega, Acuna, Paredes, Emiliano Rigoni, Kranevitter, Papu, Perotti.

Forwards: Messi, Aguero, Icardi, Di Maria, Dybala



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